The Sinking of the Titan: Fiction Came True

1024px-TitanicIt was 14 years before the Titanic set sail on her maiden voyage when Morgan Robertson published his maritime novella. Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan featured a ship so similar to the future Titanic that the two might have been twins. More striking than the passing similarities between these two ships—their sizes, their sailing routes, their names—was the location, timing, and circumstances of their destruction.

The Titan struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic on an April night, just like her future sister ship, Titanic. The strike was fatal. Titan, unprepared for disaster and carrying only the minimum required number of lifeboats, lost over half of her 2,500 passengers to the frigid ocean.

Titanic-New_York_Herald_front_pageAfter the 1912 sinking of Titanic, Robertson was credited with foreseeing the disaster. However, he would deny this allegation, saying, I know what I’m writing about, that’s all.

That’s all. Robertson took maritime knowledge and spiced it with imagination, and created a scene that came true 14 years later. Of course, the chances are slim that significant aspects of any work of fiction will come true, but of the stories that have proved prophetic, one common thread exists—the authors know their field very well indeed.

What do you know about? What do you imagine for the future? Write a story, and see what happens.


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